VideoTracer - Performance of Commercial Streaming Video on the Internet
The tremendous increase in computer power and bandwidth connectivity has fueled the growth of streaming video over the Internet to the desktop. While there have been large scale empirical studies of Internet, Web and multimedia traffic, the performance of popular Internet streaming video technologies and the impact of streaming video on the Internet is still largely unknown.
Research in the VideoTracer project seeks to better understand performance of commercial video players on the Internet. Results from this project seek to provide results useful to network practitioners that want insight into the impact from the growing volume of video traffic, and to video practitioners that want insight into expected performance of video they provide or intend to provide. Network researchers may be able to use the results to produce more realistic video traffic for popular network simulators such as NS-2, and streaming video developers may be able to use the results to target specific bottlenecks to performance.
The lack of empirical work that measures streaming video traffic may largely stem from the lack of effective measurement tools. While commercial media players typically provide means of observing performance statistics, such as average bandwidth and encoding rate, the same players do not provide a means to record performance data or control playout in an automated fashion.
The VideoTracer project also seeks to provide open souce tools for measuring the performance of commercial video players. Software from this project can be used by researchers and practioners alike to analyze video performance locally from their own computers; or to support analysis of video performance in a wide-area study.
Feng Li, Jae Chung and Mark Claypool. Three-year Trends in YouTube Video Content and Encoding, In Proceedings the 18th International Conference on Signal Processing and Multimedia Applications (SIGMAP), Virtual Conference, July 6-8, 2021. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/youtube-crawler-21/
Feng Li, Jae Chung and Mark Claypool. Silhouette - Identifying YouTube Video Flows from Encrypted Traffic, In Proceedings of the 28th ACM International Workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video (NOSSDAV), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 2018. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/yt-crawler/
Mark Claypool, Daniel Farrington, and Nicholas Muesch. Measurement-based Analysis of the Video Characteristics of Twitch.tv, In Proceedings of the IEEE Games, Entertainment, Media Conference (GEM), Toronto, Canada, October 2015. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/twitch-tv/
Rabin Karki, Thangam Seenivasan, Mark Claypool, and Robert Kinicki. Performance Analysis of Home Streaming Video Using Orb, In Proceedings of the 18th ACM International Workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video (NOSSDAV), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 2010. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/orb/
Jae Chung and Mark Claypool. Empirical Evaluation of the Congestion Responsiveness of RealPlayer Video Streams, Kluwer Multimedia Tools and Applications, Volume 31, Number 2, November 2006. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/h2h-journal/
Yubing Wang and Mark Claypool. RealTracer - Tools for Measuring the Performance of RealVideo on the Internet, Kluwer Multimedia Tools and Applications, Volume 27, Number 3, December 2005. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/real-tracker/
Mingzhe Li, Mark Claypool, Robert Kinicki and James Nichols. Characteristics of Streaming Media Stored on the Web, ACM Transactions on Internet Technology (TOIT), Volume 5, Number 4, November 2005. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/video-crawler/
Mingzhe Li, Feng Li, Mark Claypool, and Robert Kinicki. Weather Forecasting - Predicting Performance for Streaming Video over Wireless LANs, In Proceedings of the 15th ACM International Workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video (NOSSDAV), Stevenson, Washington, USA, June 2005. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/weather/
Feng Li, Jae Chung, Mingzhe Li, Huahui Wu, Mark Claypool, and Robert Kinicki. Application, Network and Link Layer Measurements of Streaming Video over a Wireless Campus Network, In Proceedings of the 6th Passive and Active Measurement Workshop (PAM), Boston, Massachusetts, USA, April 2005. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/wlan/
James Nichols, Mark Claypool, Robert Kinicki and Mingzhe Li. Measurements of the Congestion Responsiveness of Windows Streaming Media, In Proceedings of the 14th ACM International Workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video (NOSSDAV), Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland, June 16-18, 2004. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/wsm/
Jae Chung, Mark Claypool and Yali Zhu. Measurement of the Congestion Responsiveness of RealPlayer Streaming Video Over UDP, In Proceedings of the Packet Video Workshop (PV), Nantes, France, April 2003. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/h2h/
Mingzhe Li, Mark Claypool and Robert Kinicki. MediaPlayer versus RealPlayer - A Comparison of Network Turbulence, In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Workshop, Marseille, France, November 6-8, 2002. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/turbulence/
Yubing Wang, Mark Claypool, and Zheng Zuo. An Empirical Study of RealVideo Performance Across the Internet, In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Workshop (IMW), San Francisco, California, USA, November 2001. Online at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/real-tracer/
The RealTracer tools are designed to measure the performance of RealVideo. RealTracer includes RealTracker, a customized video player that plays RealVideo from a pre-selected playlist. For each video played, RealTracker records user-centric video performance information, including frame rate, jitter and user ratings, and can either send the performance information by email or FTP to a server or save it locally to disk. RealTracer also includes RealData, a data analysis tool that helps manage, parse and analyze data captured by RealTracker.
RealTracer currently runs only on Microsoft Windows (98, NT, XP, 2000) operating systems. In order to run RealTracker, you need a RealNetworks player (either the free version or a subscribed version), RealTracker support files and the RealTracker executable. In order to run RealData, you only need the RealData executable. You can use the pre-compiled executables below or download and compile the source yourself.
(executables, support files, source, documentation)
|RealTracker support files||Aux98.dll
AuxNT.dll (Win XP/NT/2k)
|RealTracker sample playlist||p1.pls|
|RealTracer user manuals||RealTracerUserManual.doc
|RealTracer source code||RealTracer_src.zip|
MediaTracker is a customized video player that plays Microsoft Media Player from a pre-selected playlist. For each video played, RealTracker records video performance information.
Latest version is v2.2 (released December 13, 2006).
(executables, source, screen shots, playlist samples, documentation)
|MediaTracker source code||MediaTracker-src.zip|